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Transforming Digital Business in ‘Real-Time’

What is Real-Time, Anyway?

Transforming Digital Business in ‘Real-Time’

A central challenge for any digital transformation initiative is dealing with the ever-increasing pace of change – in the marketplace, in the technology environment, and in the world at large. Clearly, as customer expectations accelerate, our technology must keep up. Squeezing every last millisecond of performance leads to the demand for real-time – technology with no delays whatsoever, moving at the speed of thought itself.

If we examine this real-time requirement more closely, however, important nuances emerge. First, real-time never actually means instantaneous, as it always takes a certain amount of time for bits to find their way to their destination. But even more important for any digital professional to understand, the concept of real-time has several subtly different meanings – and understanding the differences is critical for making effective technology decisions.

What is Real-Time, Anyway?

From the perspective of the digital effort, the most important definition of real-time is low latency. Latency refers to how long a web site or app takes to respond to a click or other user interaction (either on a computer or a mobile device), and thus the faster, the better. Consumers are notoriously fickle, after all – add a few milliseconds of delay and they’ll defect in droves.clocks

Real-time may also refer to up-to-date information. In a breaking news situation, for example, people want the very latest information. I heard about the latest California earthquake in real-time from friends on Twitter – the news Web sites were at least ten minutes behind. Real-time airline or theater seat availability falls under this definition as well.

A third sense of real-time refers to human interactions. If you and your gamer buddies are going after zombies in a multiplayer game, for instance, you want the action to be real-time. Online voice conversations and some fast-paced auction sites also require this type of real-time.

Finally, we may be referring to real-time processing of information. Stock trading and online ad placement are two of the most familiar examples. Yes, latency must be as low as possible, but the bottleneck isn’t just serving up information to the user – it’s all the number crunching behind the scenes that must also take place at a blisteringly fast pace.

With these various definitions in mind, then, let’s take a quick look at several software vendors who all have real-time offerings of one sort or another – and yet, all with different meanings of real-time.

Read the entire article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2014/08/29/
transforming-digital-business-in-real-time/.

At the time of writing, Fiorano Software and MapR Technologies are Intellyx customers. Aerospike, Profium, and AppDynamics are not. Image Credit: Alan Cleaver.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.